Imatges de pÓgina
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2. The People that are our hearers are taught to hearken to Use. 2. the voice of our message, and to learn this leffon of the Justice, wisdome and truth of God, that they may rightly know God, and fincerely love him, that if any thoughts of diftaft of Gods Go vernment, or diftruft of his Juftice, fhall arise in their hearts,they may presently call to remembrance our pleadings for him, and confeffe that how admirable foever the ways of God are in our judgements, yet they are always equal; how fecret foever they be, yet they are always juft.

It is a malicious fuggeftion when Satan fhall bely us to God, as he did fob, when he faid fob ferved not God for nothing; but there is no great danger in it, for he knows Satan to be a liar and Ioh. 2. 25: a murtherer; and he needeth not that any should teftifie of man: for he knoweth what is in man,

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It is a dangerous fuggeftion when he fhal belieGod to us,First, r. either flattering us with an overweening of his mercy to encourage fin, as when he told Evah, You shall not die at all. Secondly, 20 Or fhall affright us with the terrour of his Iuftice, as if there were no hope of favour,as he did to David,fetting fome awork to tell him, Non eft tibi falus in deo tuo, there is no help for thee in hy God. Thirdly, or fhall taxe to us the Government of God, as if he were either negligent of the affairs of the fons of men, or ignorant altogether of the lufferings of his Church, or partial in adminiftration of Juftice, or directly unjuft in fuffering his own fervants to be oppreft with the injuries of men.

The Minister muft diligently preach, the bearèr must reve rently hear,and faithfully believe the truth concerning the Provi dence of God,or elfe all Religion will fink and want foundation.

Verf. 2. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plaine upon Tables, that he mayran that read

eth it.

3. For the vifion is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it Shall Speak and not lye: though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Ere begins the fecond part of the chapt. which contains the
Lords anfwer to the Prophets expoftulation. Containing,.

1. A Direction to the Prophet, ver. 2,3.

2.A Declaration of his holy will in the general administration of Justice.

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1. Concerning the Direction given to the Prophet.

And the Lord answered me and faid] For the manner how God maintained intelligence with his holy Prophets, we are not very particularly informed; we find inspiration, and revelation, and vifion mentioned; he that made the light that is in us, and gave us our understanding can beft make his ways known to his holy ones; and as I do not think that Habakkuks conteftation with God was verbal and vocal, but rather a wraftling and ftriving of his fpirit and inward man: neither do I think this answer of God was audidle, prefented to the eare, but by fome fecret divine illumination fuggefted.

And where he faith, The Lord answered and faid..

Thefe phrases do expreffe so plain an answer, as is made in conference between man and man.

Write the vifion] That is, fet down in writing my answer. It is our manner for the better prefervation of fuch things as we would not forget,to fet them down in writing.

But because this requeft of the Prophets doth concerne others that be may inform them, God addeth, Make it plain upon Tables that he may run that readeth it.

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That is, write my answer in a Table in great Characters, that though a man be in hafte and run by, yet he may read as he run neth, fhewing that he was defirous to fatisfie all fuch as the Prophet fpake of before, who should argue against him.

As our manner is to fix publike Proclamations and Edicts on wals, or on Pofts in ways of common paffage, that any Paffenger may take notice thereof feeing it concerneth every one to that the Lord a'ludeth in this place, giving the Prophet great charge for the declaration of his holy will in this great matter; lo to expreffe it, that every one of his People may receive information thereof, Vult aperta effe verba, & apertè fcribi, faith St. Hierom.

For the vifion is yet for an appointed time]

The time is not yet fulfilled for the execution of the Will of God; but it is in the holy wifedome and purpole of God determined when it shall be fulfilled.

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At the end it shall peak and not lie] That is, in the time prefixed by Almighty God it shall take effect, and the counsel and de. cree of God fhall be executed: For God that hath promifed can not lie.

The answer of God is full as it after will appear, and doth not only clear the Iuftice ofGod in the prefent caufe of the oppreffed Iews against the Chaldæans, but it maketh a further and more general overture of Gods decree,against all unrighteoufneffe and ungodlineffe of men, fo that this Prophecy fhall not only comfort that Church and thole times, but it is directed to the perpetual ufe of the Church in all the ages thereof. He therefore addeth, Though it tarry wait for it, do not think by any importunity to draw down the judgements of God upon the ungodly, or to haften the deliverance of the Church;God doth all things tempore fuo in his time, and the fervants of God muft tarry his lea

fure.

Because it will furely come, it will not tarry] He giveth afsurance of the complement of his Will in the proper and prestitute feafon thereof, which nothing fhall then hinder.

The parts of this text, containing Gods direction given to his holy Prophet, are three.

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1. The care that God takes for the publishing of his Wil
to the Church, vers. 2.

2. The affurance that he gives of the performance thereof
in the time by him appointed;

3. The patient expectation which he commands for the
performance thereof.

1. The law that he takes for publifhing it.

The Propher must not only hear God fpeak,the Seer must not only behold the vision, but he muft write the fame: litera fcripta manet, the written letter abideth.

I will not ftand to fearch how ancient writing is, wherein fome have loft time and labour.

I know that many do make God the first immediate Author of it, and do affirm that the first Scripture that ever was, was Gods writing of the law in two Tables, Exod. 32.

But because I find in Exod. 24 that Mofes wrote all the word Use 4. of the Lord, and fofephus doth report a tradition of the He

brews

brews for writing and graving before the flood; I hold it pro bable that both Scripture and Sculpture are as ancient as the old world.

I will not queftion Jofephus his Record of the two pillars, ereAed before the flood, engraven for the use of pofterity, with some memorable things to continue in fucceeding ages, whereof one remained in Syria in his own time.

Ex.17.14.

Job.19 23

Verf. 24.

It is frequent in Scripture to expreffe a perpetuity of record by writing. In the cafe of Amalek, Write this for a memorial in a book.

Iob. O that

my words were now written, that they were printed

in a book,

Graven with an iron pen, in lead and in the ink for ever! Ifay the Prophet. I heard a voice from heaven, faying to me write, all flesh is graffe.

Ioh. Audivi vocem dicentem, Beati mortui. I heard a voice from heaven saying, Bleffed are the dead.

Beloved thus have we the light that shineth upon the Church, and guideth our feet in the ways of peace by writing; for all Scripture is given by inspiration: holy men wrote as they were inspired.

1. Cor, 4. 6.

It was given to them by inspiration to know the will of God, they impart it to the Church of God by writing, and that boundeth and limiteth us, τὸ μῆ ὑπερ, τὸ γέγραπται φρονεῖν.

Thus hath God revealed himself to his Church,both fufficiently, that we need no more knowledge for eternal life, then what is contained inScripture, and fo clearly that the word giveth understanding to the fimple.

And as this word from the immediate mouth of God, doth warrant this particular prophecy, fo doth the Apostle fay of all the body of Canonical Scripture, that all Scripture is given by infpiration: and Gods care is double.

S. That it be written to continue.

2. That it be written plain to be read.

1. It must be written that it may remain. For in the old world, because of the long life of the fathers, the oracles of God were committed to them, without any mention of writing, because they were both wife and faithful in the cuftody and tranfmiffion

of

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of them ;For Adam himself living nine hundred and thirty years to teach his children, had under his teaching

Seth, Enoh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Iared, Henoch, Methufa lak, and Lamech the fatherof Noah.

And Noah lived with Abraham 57 years.

But after the flood when the Church in the pofterity of Iacob encreased, and no doubt had many corruptions by dwelling in Egypt; then was Mofes appointed both to be the deliverer of the People of Ifrael from Egypt, and to be the Penman of God, to write thofe things which God would have to remain in the Church for all fucceeding times, and after him fucceffively holy men wrote as they were infpired.

And a better Argument we cannot give for the danger of unwritten traditions, which the Church of Rome doth fo much commend even above Scripture, then this.

God faw that men had corrupted their ways, and he found the imaginations of mens hearts only evil continually, and that the Church was a very few: therefore he stirred up Noah to be a Preacher of righteoufneffe in whom the light of truth was prelerved, he deftroyed the old finful world, and by Noah and Sem; he began tew Church to the reftored world.

Yet after Noahs death the worship of ftrange gods were brought in; futhat to heal this grief, and to prevent the danger of traditions, Gnd caufed the Word to be written by holy men, for the perpetual ue of his Church, whofe books were faithfully preferved in all ages thereof.

Then came the Sonn of God, and he left his Tpirit in the · Church, to lead the Church into all truth, by which fpirit the New Teftament was endited and written.

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So that now all things necefary to falvation are fo clearly revealed, that traditions of men have no neceffary ufe in the Church, in the fubftance of true Religion: for that which is written is fufficient.

The Church of Rome denieth the fufficiency of Scripture. Many of their great learned men write both bafely and blafphe niously thereof.

But they are not agreed upon the point : for

Scotus, Gerfon, Oecam. Cameracenfis, Waldenfis, Vincentius

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